As our Grade 11 students look ahead to the next school year, we are proud of every student who put their name forward for a formal leadership position. This week our community elected the School Prefects, the boarding Heads of Houses, and the students who will head school councils.
“These Grade 11 students have shown a great deal of courage in putting themselves in front of all of us with the hopes of serving the school community,” says Eliot Anderson, Director of Senior School. “Each one has done an excellent job of representing themselves, their beliefs and their values.”
Earlier this month, Marina Fabris and Torr Large were elected Head Prefects for the 2020-21 school year. We are excited to see these two great students and the rest of the Class of 2021 lead our Kindergarten to Grade 12 student body next year.
We sat down with Marina and Torr to get to know them and to find out the impact they hope to make at SMUS.
Why did you want to be a Head Prefect?
Marina – At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it because I don’t see myself as a formal, perfect kind of person. But the more I thought about it, the more I really wanted it because we have a chance to do so much good and bring positive change to people’s lives. What helped sway me was I called Max [Nishima, 2019-20 Head Prefect] and he said, “The role is what you make of it.” I think that’s so true. I think Torr and I are really going to bring our strengths together to benefit the community.
Torr – Like Marina, I spent a lot of time thinking about it, “Am I going to run? I don’t know.” And I got to a point where I had decided I wouldn’t. But I was talking with Ms. McGhee one day and she basically said, “Why not? Just put yourself out there.” And it made me realize, “Yeah, why not?” The reason I wanted to do it was because I think there’s a lot of spirit and fun to be shared and put into the student body. After how this year has to end, especially, I think Marina and I are really looking forward to reigniting that school spirit!
What makes Torr Head Prefect material?
Marina – He is so passionate, excited, enthusiastic and so smart. He is a go-getter and actually gets things done. He also really listens to what you have to say and can admit when he’s wrong.
What makes Marina Head Prefect material?
Torr – Marina’s authenticity and passion always shine through. She says what she means, and does what she says. We’ve been running the Green Team together so I also know she is organized and has leadership experience. She is also really compassionate.
What role do you see the Head Prefects playing in the community and for the student body?
Marina – How I see it is they’re people that bring the community closer together. It’s someone who is a friend that you can always talk to and who will be there to listen.
Torr – I think our role is to lead by example. Obviously we have some set roles, like heading the Prefect Council and speaking in assembly, but we help represent the students. I hope we can play a role in bringing together the Junior and Middle School communities, too. I’d love to visit those schools and be present for those students.
Marina – Having spent my whole life at this school, I really want to see us all more connected. We are a K-12 school; that is so special. I definitely think it would be cool to visit and get more involved in the younger students’ lives because we’ve been through it; we have wisdom to share with them.
What are you most looking forward to?
Torr – What I look forward to the most is working with the Prefect Council and crafting ideas because I know it’s going to be an awesome group of people who want to do good work, who are organized and who are willing to put themselves out there. I’m excited to see what we can get done.
Marina – I think assemblies will be super fun; just being able to bring joy to people. And I’m also excited about getting to know more people. I hope that people see that I’m approachable and feel they can come talk to me. I think it’s going to be a really special year; being away from everybody since March, I hope everyone comes back with a sense of appreciation for being beside each other at school. I know I definitely miss being with everyone.
Is there anything specific you hope to achieve?
Torr – Shorts are definitely going to become a part of the uniform! One of the things I want to do is help make boarding and day student relations tighter. I’ve gotten to know lots of boarders in classes, but I find that we get to know people more when we’re spending unstructured time together. I want to know what that can look like and see how we can make that better for everyone to bring us closer together.
Marina – School spirit will be important, so I hope that we can bring the whole school closer together – day and boarding across all grades – and I hope we can help bring out the best in people. I also think that because Torr and I come from the Green Team, we will want to see sustainability become a bigger focus for us this year.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about the coming school year?
Torr – I hope the COVID-19 situation is going to help build up a lot of anticipation for next year. The fact that we haven’t been able to see each other for months, will make next year a very special year.
Marina – I think a lot about finding the right answer to, “How do you make people listen?” My experience, in terms of sustainability, is you can say lots of facts, but how do you make people care and actually want to make change? Going forward, that’s something that I’m looking forward to thinking about more, especially being in a role that allows us to help be a voice for change to make this an even better school than we already are.